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Decomposition and nutrient release of several agricultural wastes at controlled room temperature

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  • Save International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(4): 185-189 DOI: 10.5923/j.ijaf.20130304.10 Decomposition and Nutrient Release Patterns of Some Farm Wastes under Controlled Room Temperature Ipinmoroti R. R. Cocoa research Institute of Nigeria, PM B, 5244, Ibadan Abstract Decomposition rate of five co mmonly used organic fertilizer materials for tea production in Nigeria – cocoa husk (CH), tea flu ff (TF), cow-dung (CD), poultry droppings (PD) and siam weed (SW ), was determined under controlled laboratory roo m temperature range of 28 – 32℃ using carbon-dioxide evolution as an index, while the pH, amount of N, P and K released over four months incubation were assessed. The amount of CO2 evolved significantly (p≤0.05) increased for the first 2 months and decreased in the subsequent months for SW, TF, CH and CD, with one peak of upsurge, while it increased for PD in the 1st month, decreased in the 2nd month, increased in the 3rd month and drastically decreased at the 4th month. Carbon-dio xide evolved was highest for TF followed by CH, PD, SW, CD and least for control. Total N (151-265mg/ mL), P (7.24-9.1mg/kg) and K (3.1-5.4g/kg) re leased and the soil pH (6.36-6.61) diffe red between the manures and were significantly (P≤0.05) higher compared to control with 59.0mg/ mL N, 5.98mg/ kg P, 2.30g/ kg K and pH of 5.28. The significantly higher value of the soils amended with organic wastes for CO2, N, P and K fro m the onset of incubation indicated immediate co mmencement of nutrient release by the organic wastes, which suggests their capacity for gradual release of nutrients to meet the need of tea plants. Keywords Fertilizer, Crop Nutrient Supply, Incubation, Optimal Yield, Soil Organic Matter 1. Introduction Soils under tea cultivation on the Mambilla Plateau, Nigeria are highly leached with very lo w N, P and basic elements[1]. The quantity of tealeaf currently produced from the area is just about 20% of the present demand by tea processing industries in the locality[2]. Th is supply is grossly inadequate, which was attributed to low tealeaf production as a result of nutritional problems[2]. Fert ilizer rates of 150 kg N, 30 kg P and 30 kg K ha-1 year-1 have been established for consistent optimal tealeaf harvest on the Mamb illa Plateau[1], which were based on the use of inorganic fert ilizers. Unfortunately, fertilizer supply has been inadequate, erratic and costly to be procured by the peasant poor resource farmers for the past few decades[3]. Their usage over time makes the soil mo ribund and unsuita ble to grow tea and or other crops[4]. Un fortunately, tea cannot grow economically without fertilizer application[5]. Fert ilizer application amounts to over 50% of the total annual farm inputs in tea production[6]. Nigerian farmers have been advised on the use of readily available farm wastes as alternative sources of nutrient supply on tea farms in order to remain in production at optimal p rofit, and to maintain * Corresponding author: (Ipinmoroti R. R.) Published online at Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved good physical, chemical and biological conditions of soils under tea cultivation[7]. There are arrays of farm wastes that are used to advantage on cultivated lands in Nigeria for arable and tree crops[8, 9, 10] but the most readily availab le and commonly used on tea farms includes cocoa husk, cow-dung, poultry droppings and tea fluff[2, 7]. The rates of mineralizat ion and nutrient release patterns of the farm wastes have not been adequately studied. This investigation was conducted to determine the decomposition rate and nutrient release patterns of these farm wastes using CO2 evolution and amount of nutrients released as indices 2. Materials and Methods The decomposition rate of five organic materials wh ich are co mmon sources of nutrient supply to tea farms were assessed using the CO2 evolved and the amount of nutrient released over the months of incubation in the laboratory as indices with the fo llo wing procedures: 2.1. Carbon Dioxi de Evol uti on Study Carbon dio xide evolution study was carried out according to procedure previously described[11]. Fifty grams of 2 mm sieved topsoil were weighed into each of 24 incubation flasks, with four flasks representing each of the five o rganic material types and the control with no amend ment. Each of the milled organic materials was we ighed and mixed with the 186 Ipinmoroti R. R. : Decomposition and Nutrient Release Patterns of Some Farm Wastes under Controlled Room Temperature soil in the flasks at the rate of 10 tones ha-1 (0.25g 50 g-1 soil). The flasks’ contents were moistened to 70 % water holding capacity of the soil and incubated in the laboratory at room temperature (28 – 32℃). The moisture content of the flasks was adjusted fortnightly with de-ionized water and the carbon dioxide evolved fro m the flasks was led through a delivery tube into a bottle containing 25 ml of 0.1 M Ca (OH)2. The amount of carbon dio xide evolved was determined by tit ration with 0.05 N HCl, using phenolphtha lein as ind icator. The amount of carbonate formed was calculated using the following equation[11]: Meq of CO2 Where 0.2727 0.027 25 ml f = 0.2727[25-(t itre x f)] 0.027 = ratio of carbon in carbon dio xide = 0.2727 x mo larity of Ca (OH)2 = Vo lu me of Ca(OH)2 originally taken for trapping CO2 = volu me of Ca(OH)2 Blank t itre 2.2. Nutrient Release Patterns during Incubation in the Laborator y Sieved (2 mm) topsoil (40 g) + river sand (10 g) were weighed into each of 96 Petri dishes and arranged in 6 rows of 16 Petri dishes per row. Each row was labeled against a manure materia l and the control. The manures were added to their representative row of dishes at 0.25 g/dish and the Petri dishes were randomly arranged on the laboratory bench. The contents of each Petri d ish were mixed thoroughly and mo istened periodically to keep contents at 70% water holding capacity and allowed to remain at roo m temperature. Four Petri dishes were retrieved per treat ment monthly and the contents transferred into 100 ml beakers at soil/ water ratio of 1:2.5, and the pH determined using pH meter. The beaker contents were then leached into separate 100 ml volumetric flask, using funnel fitted with What-man 42 filter paper and filtrates analyzed for total N, NO3-- N, NH4+ N, P using Vanado-Molybdate method calorimetrically and K contents by flame photometer. Statistical analysis of variance was used to determine significant mean differences, which were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test {DM RT} at p< 0.05. 2.3. Soil and Org anic Materials Anal ysis Determination of the initial nutrient contents of the soil and organic materials used for the study were carried out as follow: The soil pH was measured electronically with glass electrode pH meter in soil/ water rat io of 1:2.5. o rganic carbon was determined by wet oxidation method[12], total N by micro jeldahl d igestion, while available P was determined colorimet rically by molybdenum blue method[13]. The exchangeable cations were extracted by leaching 5 g soil with 50 mL of 1N NH4OAC at p H 7 and the K in the leachate was determined with flame photometer, while Ca and Mg were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Total N of the organic material samples was determined by Kjeldahl method; the P, K, Ca and Mg were determined after wet digestion using acid mixtu res. The P was determined using Vanado-molybdate yellow method and read using UV-VIS recording spectrophotometer (UV – 2400PC) at 420 n m, the K by flame photometer, while the Ca and Mg were by AAS. 3. Results and Discussion 3.1. Nutrient Contents of Soil and Organic Materials The soil organic carbon and total soil N contents were 24.2g/kg and 9.0g/kg soil respectively with C: N ratio of 2.69 (Table 1). The soil organic carbon and total soil N contents were below the 30.0 and 10.0 g m kg-1 soil ideal for suitable soil for tree c rop production[14]. The P value of 5.81 mg/ kg was moderate, while the K, Ca and Mg contents of 0.52, 2.09 and 0.37 cmol/ kg respectively were all belo w their soil critical values of 1.2, 8.0 and 0.80 cmo l/kg soil respectively[14]. Th is suggests the need to increase the soil organic matter (SOM) content in order to allow for optimal and sustainable cropping on the soil. The low nutrient content of the soil is a general characteristic of most Nigerian soils[15] which indicates that the soil could not be cropped profitably without fertilizer applicat ion for optimal plant growth and productivity, however, the soil p H value of 6.2 was optimu m for tea cu ltivation. Table 1. Init ial physical and chemical propert ies of soil used Soil property N (g/kg) C (g/kg) C/N pH Available P (mg/kg) Exchangeable K (cmol/kg) Ca ,, Mg ,, Values 9.0 24.2 2.69 6.2 5.81 052 2.09 0.37 The N contents in tea fluff (TF), poultry droppings (PD) and siam weed (SW) were high but relatively lo w in cocoa husk (CH) and cow dung (CD) (Table 2). The PD was between 0.33 and 2.6 times higher in P content compared to the other four organic materials. The h igher P content of the PD may probably be due to the bone, blood and shell meal contents of poultry feeds, which are needed for better bone and eggshell development in poultry, the excess of which must have passed out with the dung. The organic materials of animal o rig in were lo wer in K values compared to those of plant orig in. The high K content of the CH and SW is characteristic and similar high K values have been reported which made CH and SW good sources of K supply for high K demanding crops[16, 17]. The Ca contents of the organic materials followed similar trend with the P contents. The Ca values of the animal manures were higher co mpared to those of plant origin. The Mg in the organic materials ranged between 0.23 and 0.76 %, with the lowest content in TF while it was highest in SW. The low Mg content of TF International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(4): 185-189 187 probably resulted from the low Mg contents of the inorganic fertilizers common ly used on tea fields in Nigeria, as well as the notably reported Mg deficiency syndrome of the tea estates on the Mambilla p lateau[1] Table 3. Average CO2 evolved (milli-equivalent) by organic materials over 4 months of incubat ion Treatment s Cocoa husk 1 320b Months of incubation 2 3 669a 553a 4 280a Table 2. Nutrient contents of the fertilizer materials used for the exp eriment s Prop ert ies TF CH PD CD SW N (%) 3.54 1.46 2.92 1.29 2.47 C (%) 44.3 39.9 25.4 16.5 43.0 C:N 12.5 25.6 8.7 12.8 17.4 P (%) 0.30 0.15 1.55 0.60 0.21 Cow-dung Poultry dropping Siam weed Tea fluff Control 200bc 308b 260b 685a 188c 314b 252bc 377b 687a 164c 227bc 375b 312b 603a 144c 164b 234a 163b 232a 125b Means followed by the same letters within a column are not significantly different at (p<0.05) K (%) Ca (%) 2.16 3.96 0.64 0.77 1.83 3.55 0.83 3.08 1.57 1.21 3.3. Nutrient Release Patterns of Manures and PH Mg (%) 0.23 0.33 0.54 0.43 0.76 Change over Four Month’s Incubation TF = Tea fluff, CH = Cocoa husk, PD = Poultry droppings, CD = Cow dung, SW The NO-3 –N released by the soils amended with manures = Siam weed were significantly (p<0.05) higher than the control (Table 4). 3.2. Carbon Dioxi de Evol uti on Study The amount of CO2 evolved increased for the first 2 months and decreased in the subsequent months for SW, TF, CH and CD, with one peak o f upsurge. For PD, the CO2 evolved had two peaks of upsurge (Table 3). It increased for the first month, decreased in the second month, increased again at the 3rd month and drastically decreased at the 4th month. The TF gave the highest amount of CO2 evolved and was follo wed by CH, PD, SW, CD and control in descending order. The organic materials produced significantly (p< 0.05) higher amount of CO2 than the control. The higher values of CO2 released by the manures over the control might probably be due to upsurge in the microbial population and the resultant increase in their activit ies that might have taken place in the amended soils. The reduction in CO2 evolved after the init ial upsurge indicated that the more rapid ly oxidize-able lab ile contents like sugars, starch and cellu lose had been exhausted. The upsurge in CO2 values after initial decline ind icated that the high molecu lar weight carbohydrates and lignin were being deco mposed[18, 19]. Higher values of CO2 evolved in the organic material-treated soils over the control fro m the onset indicated that decomposition commenced immediately the organic materials were added to the soil. Continual decrease in CO2 values from the 3rd month and thereafter showed that decomposition of the organic materials had attained a peak after which their nutrient contents could be made availab le The diffe rence was between 29-200 % over the control after one month incubation. Total N released by the manures treated soils was significantly (p<0.05) higher than for the control. The NO-3 –N constituted about 98.01 - 99.96 % of the total N released. At the second month, NO-3 - N generated by soils treated with manures were higher than for control by a range of 6.41 – 287.91 %. The NH4+ - N content produced by TF was highest compared to other treatments. The NO-3 – N constituted 98.41 - 99.91% of the total N. At the third month, the results showed that CH, PD and control resulted to decrease in the amount of NO-3 – N released compared to the preceding month, whereas CD, SW and TF gave increased values. The NO-3 – N generated by manure treated soils were between 21.9 - 880.82% higher than for control, while NH4+ - N values were higher than values obtained for previous months. Total N generated showed that 91.45100% was made up of NO-3 – N. At the end of fourth month the NO-3 N generated decreased across the manure treated soils and control. Tea flush (2 leaves + bud) harvest is carried out forthrightly with great demand for NO-3 N. The h igher quantity of total N and more importantly NO-3 N in the organic material treated soils indicated that the organic wastes could readily supply the N need of tea plants. However, rat ional use of the organic wastes is needed to checkmate excess release of NO-3 N that could be detrimental to the environ ment through underground water pollution[20]. for crop plants usage. Table 4. Effect of organic fertilizer materials on NO3- - N, NH4+- N and total N (mg/ml) released over four months of incubation Treatment CH CD PD SW TF Cont. NO3-N 118c 121c 158b 91d 213a 72e 1 NH4+N 1.0b 0.0c 0.0c 1.0b 2.0a 1.0b Total N 119c 121c 158b 92d 215a 73e NO3-N 138d 169c 247b 162c 373a 129e Months of incubation 2 NH4+N Total N NO3-N 2.0b 140d 105d 1.0d 170c 319b 0.0e 247b 179c 1.0c 163c 178c 5.0a 378a 839a 3.0b 132d 86e 3 NH4+N 4.0b 2.0c 0.0d 0.0d 62a 8.0b Total N 109d 321b 179c 178c 901a 94d NO3-N 252a 204a 164b 143b 255a 49c 4 NH4+N 12a 13a 4.0c 9.0b 10b 10b Total N 264a 217a 168b 152b 265a 59c CH = Cocoa husk; CD = Cow-dung; PD = Poultry droppings; SW = Siam weed; TF = Tea fluff, Cont. = Control Means followed by the same letters along a column are not significantly different at p<0.05 188 Ipinmoroti R. R. : Decomposition and Nutrient Release Patterns of Some Farm Wastes under Controlled Room Temperature The quantity of P released by PD, CD and SW in the first month, were significantly (p <0.05) h igher co mpared to the control but not significantly higher by CH and TF (Tab le 5). The very high P release in the PD amended soil may be due to the high bone meal, fish mea l and oyster shell contents in the feeds of poultry birds. Poultry meals are high in P, a portion of which might have been passed out in the droppings. In the second month, the P released in PD was significantly higher than in the SW, CH and the control but not over the CD and TF, wh ile in the fourth month, the manures of p lant and animal orig ins behaved differently compared with the previous months of incubation. While the plant materials had increased in the quantity of P released than it was for the third month, the animal wastes resulted to decrease in the amounts of P released. However, the increase or decrease in the amounts of P released at the fourth month compared to the third month was marg inal, which showed that the P mineralization had attained stability. The mean amounts of P released by the PD, SW and TF were significantly higher than in CD. Table 5. Effect of organic fertilizer materials on P release (mg/kg) over four mont hs of incubation Treatment s Cocoa husk Cow-dung Poultry droppings Siam weed Tea fluff Control 1 9.90cd 16.59b 35.83a 15.09b 12.51cd 6.95d Months of incubation 2 3 7.15c 5.44c 12.93b 6.77b 29.33a 9.66a 7.66c 7.46c 4.82c 3.98d 6.06b 5.27c 4 8.39ab 5.98b 9.05a 9.14a 8.61a 7.24ab Means followed by the same letters along a column are not significantly different from one another at p<0.05 Potassium released was highest for CH and fo llo wed by values for TF, SW, PD, CD and least in control (Tab le 6). There was an upsurge in K released at the 4th month over the 2nd and 3rd months with organic materials having significantly (p<0.05) higher amounts of K co mpared with the control. The sharp increase in K values in the fourth month may probably be due to the fact that greater levels of decomposition have taken place in the various med ia. Table 6. Pot assium (g/kg) released by organic mat erials over four months of incubation Treatment s Cocoa husk Cow-dung Siam weed Poultry droppings Tea fluff Control 1 3.70a 1.20c 2.60b 2.00b 3.40a 1.00c Months of incubation 2 3 3.09a 5.00a 1.40c 2.40d 3.10a 3.80b 1.90c 3.10c 2.40b 3.20c 0.90d 2.00d 4 5.40a 3.10c 3.90b 3.20c 4.20b 2.30d Means followed by the same letters along a column are not significantly different from one another at p<0.05 The pH values were lo w in the 1st month of incubation but the values increased thereafter with increase in length of incubation (Table 7). This trend was a d irect opposite with the values obtained for the CO2 evolved (Table 2). This showed that the more the CO2 released, the more acidic the soil condition became. At each period of pH determination, the values for the organic material treated soils were significantly higher than for the control (p<0.05). The higher pH observed for the organic materials over the control was probably influenced by the mineralization and subsequent release of nutrients fro m the organic wastes[21, 22, 19]. Table 7. Change in pH during incubation of organic materials Treatment s Cocoa husk Cow-dung Siam weed Poultry droppings Tea fluff Control 1 4.88ab 4.80b 5.00a 4.80b 4.60c 4.53d Months of incubation 2 3 5.20bc 5.50c 5.30b 5.50c 5.35ab 5.75a 5.48a 5.58b 5.13c 5.40d 4.93d 5.18e 4 6.36c 6.39c 6.47b 6.57a 6.61a 5.28d Means followed by the same letters along a column are not significantly different from one another at p<0.05 Organic materials as nutrient sources undergo composting into manures and curing before being used on the field for tea. Tea is a high N demanding crop, with application rate of 150 kg N/ha in Nigeria[1]. Under normal g rowing condition, tea plants take all the nutrients it needs fro m the soil. Tea utilizes N in form of NO-3, hence the h igh contents of the incubated materials in NO-3 – N indicated that N will be readily available for tea uptake. Th is will be mo re effective in that mineralizat ion of manures is gradual over long period of time. The amount of the cured manures to be applied is normally based on rational need by tea plants, which is indicated by soil test level and applied in two split applications. This helps to guide against loading the soil with excess NO-3 N that could curse food and environmental contaminations as well as the pollution of water bodies[20]. The use of the farm wastes would be very advantageous in building up the soil organic matter content that is naturally low. 4. Conclusions Based on the trend of CO2 evolved and pattern of N, P and K released over the incubation period, it suggests that mineralizat ion and nutrient released by the evaluated farm wastes would be without inhibit ion on the field fo r eventual crop benefits. The quantum of NO-3 N would be enough to meet the high demand of tea for N. Its gradual release is advantageous especially for tea plants with long gestation period. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Authors acknowledged the permission of the Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria to publish this work. International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(4): 185-189 189 REFERENCES [1] Obatolu, C. R. and Chude, V. O. ‘Preliminary results of the effect of foliar applied B fertilizer on the growth of tea (Camellia sinensis L.)’. Proceeding of International Society of Soil Science, Commission IV & V, Ibadan, Nigeria: 248 – 254, 1985 [2] Ipinmoroti, R. R, Daniel, M . A. and Obatolu, C. R. ‘Effect of organo-mineral fertilizer on tea growth at Kusuku, M ambilla Plateau, Nigeria’. Moor Journal of agricultural Research.. 3 (2): 180 – 183, 2002 [3] Adeoye, G. O., Sridhar, M . .K. .C., Adeoluwa, O. O. and Akinsoji, N. 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